Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shortlisted Bentos

Congratulation to the fourteen shortlisted Bentos (in alphabetical order) from more than sixty multiple submissions worldwide for the Bento Pet's Bento competition!! It's been really exciting to daily open my mail box to see new submissions.

Needless to say, all the Bentos were "delicious"! The result of this competition is really not the qualifying factor of whether your Bento is good enough or better than the other. The purpose of this competition is really meant to be a support system for each one of us Bento packers. Some could look at it as a way to make new Bento friends and also to network. For what ever the reasons, I am awed at the number of new Bento sites emerging from this competition.

I feel a sense of 'responsibility' to post up my Bento every morning (unless there is no need for one that day). I know that some people expect to see a Bento or blog post when they visit my blog - just like when I visit other Bento blogs, I have the same expectation.

Unfortunately, we sometimes get bogged down by life's routines and life's challenges and regularity doesn't always remain the same.

My two daughters and I have been having a virtual visual gastronomic party. We each looked through all the submissions
individually (more than 100) and picked the ones which we liked best. We didn't discuss our selection and when we each finished the selection process, we merged the results and those which were picked by all three of us got into the short listed list below:

Apple from Gate of Toy is a collector of Pinky toys, she owns over fifty of them! Another amazing Malaysian hobbyist! Most of the time, Apple takes pictures of her Bento with one Pinky or another.

Her description of the Bento submission:

Taufu Sushi Roll The rice fit into Japanese Beancurd Skin (Inari Sushi) and the sushi roll skin is crepe roll with fresh lettuce, chicken ham, egg and crab stick.

Some fresh cherry tomato is included in the bento as well.

Click the picture to visit Apple at Gate of Toy.

This entry below is submitted by Christene @ allthingspurple. Christene packs Bento on a regular basis for her two young children. Christene also hails from my home country - Malaysia!

Her description of the Bento submission:

It's turkey slice rolled up with a layer of cheese. On the side is a bunch of champagne grapes and some green grapes with the skin peeled cos kids nowadays only have 15 minutes break time and they don't have the time to peel grapes.

The idea is to have them eat the skin, but they wouldn't. Hence the champagne grapes.
Click the picture to visit allthingspurple.

elaineevdw/Elaine is from Reno, NV, USA and according to her Flickr profile, love literature, Web design, cookies, yoga, henna, the ocean, and astronomy. Oh, and sharing photos on Flickr, of course.

Her description of the Bento submission:

Top tier: Tamagoyaki mixed with some bonito furikake, carrot kinpira (carrots quickly stir fried in sesame oil with red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and sesame seeds), fresh blueberries.

Bottom tier: Rice cubes with vegetable furikake and fresh grape tomatoes.
I packed a higher portion of fresh fruits and veggies to bring the calorie count down, since I was going out for sushi with friends after work. Then I saw Wall-E. :))))

Click the picture to view this Bento @ Flickr.

H.W. a Ph.D. student who never has enough time for writing or knitting. She hails from SheffieSheep, New York, United States. She authors a bento and knitting blog called Cuilionn Delig.

Her description of the Bento submission:

In the top tier: bonito flake onigiri with nori decorations, sugar snap peas, cherry tomato, and chicken gyoza.

Bottom tier holds edamame, carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, mango. Lid holds candies and dried fruit.
Click the picture to visit Cuilionn Deilg.

Jacki hails from Halifax, NS, Canada. Her current best friend is frozen banana leaves.
Jacki can also ice some fancy cup cakes.
Her description of the Bento submission:

Everything is home made from scratch:
-Tamagoyaki (omelette) nigiri sushi
-Sesame fried gai lon with dried cranberries
-Fried pork shumai
-Steamed broccoli
-Lemon and orange daikon pickles.
-Steamed sugar snaps
-Boiled sweet potato butterflies
-Fiddleheads, steamed with lemon juice
-Honey tangerine pieces
-Fresh cherries
Click the picture to visit Jacki's Bento Blog.

K.S. is from USA and has collectively packed over 100 bentos for herself and her husband. Awesome! She celebrates her personal 100th bento on the 29 of July 2008 - same as my blog anniversary! Congratulations!

Her description of the Bento submission:

A strawberry, an apricot, yellow baby carrots, snow peas, blueberries, and a 1/2 turkey sandwich with light lemonaise and mustard.
(granted, it's a sandwich, but I like to think of it as the cloud in the sky with the rainbow of fruit and veg).

Click the picture to visit Kastinkerbell blog.

Kashmirkat is from New Jersey, USA. She packs lovely lunch Bentos for her husband. BTW, she shares the same Birthday as Bento Pet's blog!!! Congratulations!

Her description of the Bento submission:

This bento includes a Chef Salad of lettuce, shredded carrot, diced red and green bell pepper topped with swiss cheese flowers and hearts and ham and turkey pinwheels, next to that is a heart shaped egg that is sliced and some garlic pita.

The other tier contains fruit salad of strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and mango, more garlic pita, roasted red pepper hummus topped with roasted red pepper and macaroni salad. On the side are two molasses cookies and a midget container of ranch dressing.

Click the picture to visit kashmirkat.

Kel is a full time mum from Malaysia. She has this to say "my family is my everything" :)

Her description of the Bento submission:

The contents of the box were (from left): octopus and crab sausages with mask, soba with little bow shaped nori, tomatoes, broccoli, baby corns and a few drops of mayo.

On the right top was the jelly and iced grapes, and below was the soba sauce with lots of spring onions.

Click the picture to visit Kel's Place.

Krisaki who is from Texas, USA has this to say: "I made this blog to showcase the different vegan meals I make and the sewing/craft projects that I do".

Here’s a little info about me. I have been vegan for almost 6 years and enjoy making all types of meals for myself and boyfriend. I am also a fashion design major at UIW in San Antonio. I have one year to go and am very excited about finishing up my degree.

Her description of the Bento submission:

There is the Asian noodles and cabbage, then on the left we have a half of pita tore into bite sized chunks with some hummus, and some sliced strawberries and kiwi with raw unsalted pumpkin seeds.

I never knew pumpkin seeds were so healthy until recently. My friend did the Master Cleanse and wanted some pumpkin seeds for when she was done so I checked out the health benefits.

Two of major things pumpkin seeds have in them is zinc and magnesium. In 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds you get 92% of your daily magnesium. They taste somewhat like a sunflower seed but larger. Personally I prefer the taste of almonds or walnuts, but they’re a nice snack and aren’t as expensive as nuts.

Click the picture to visit Krisaki - Food. Fashion. Bento.

Lyvvie is from Dalgety Bay, Scotland. She's the one who packs an edible joke with her Bento to go.

Her description of the Bento submission:

Left: Two onigiri one with ham and cream cheese parcel inside, the other has fried chicken, mini fried chicken kebabs, rocket leaves, mange tout, red pepper.

Middle: Puree of ham, red pepper and cream cheese topped with nanami togarashi, sliced carrots, sugar snap peas, red pepper and sliced hot dog.

Right: mixed nuts, haribo, apple and an orange.

Click the picture to visit Lyvvie @ Obento Baby!

Rei is a full time working mum from Singapore, she has two fantastic kids. Cooking and Baking is therapeutic exercise for her.

Her description of the Bento submission:

Bento 6 : Rice, sakura denbu, black sesame and Natto, Unagi, stir fry Kale with carrots.

Click the picture to visit Rei at All That Matters.

3lilangels, a happy stay-at-home mommy of three pre-schoolers, 2 girls and 1 boy. Interested in making Bento meals, child rearing and education, reading and scrapbooking. 3lilangels mummy is also from Malaysia.

Her description of the Bento submission:

Bottom container had chicken rice (claypot style but cooked in rice cooker) with shredded chicken thigh underneath. Decorated with flowers cut out from cucumber and steamed carrots. Swapped the insides to create a visual interest. sausage, thousand island sauce in pink container #1, tomato sauce in the other, extra Stalks were made of cucumber and leaves from sweet peas.

The top container had Chinese veggies, and grapes.

Click the picture to visit her blog at 3lilangles.

Yvo from New York city, New York, USA is a veteran Bento packer. She also authors The Feisty Foodie where she records her gastronomic journey.

Her description of the Bento submission:

Top tier: sauteed button mushrooms; sauteed Napa cabbage; BBQ chicken thighs Bottom tier: 6 dark chocolate covered pretzels from Trader Joe's; marinated squid banchan; and curried salmon orzo.

The dark chocolate covered pretzels are good, but not quite as good as the peanut butter filled chocolate covered pretzels. I like the pb ones because they're sweet and salty and creamy, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I love salty snacks, I'm not into sweets that much, so this is perfect for me. I love those...

Click the picture to visit All My Bento Are Belong To Me.

I am currently in a state of 'brain drain'! I've been working endless hours to reach this point of posting.

No worries, I'm enjoying it, only thing is hubs is a little sore that I'm at the computer all the time!

This is where you get to enjoy visiting all the different blogs and savor all the delicious Bentos that all these wonderful people have been making day in and day out.

I am most likely going to put up a poll so that you can vote for your favorite Bento. Please bear with me while I get the poll up.

Meanwhile, I'd like to record a note of thanks to all my new found Bento friends who joined in the bandwagon to have some fun taking part in this competition.

Everyone of you has become a friend and those whom I personally know, I want to affirm you all that each one of your Bentos gave my two daughters and I a mind boggling time in deciding on the final fourteen.

*Towards more Bento days!*


3lilangels said...

OMG! I'm thrilled just to be shortlisted. Am very humbled too as I look through the other entries. My bentos are so not up to par yet. Bentopet, thanks heaps for running the contest. Now we have more beautiful bentos to feast our eyes on.

Btw, I'm going to link all mentioned to my blogroll, if nobody minds.

allthingspurple said...

I am one of those who feels a responsibility to post a bento post every day. Now that my digital camera broke down on me, I am feeling guilty about not posting. Hope it came back from the service centre soon.

Bento Pet, thanks for shortlisting me. It is an honour just to be shortlisted alone !

and wow, I had gastronomic delight looking at all those pics ! Ha Ha.

And thanks for including their links so that we have more bento links to go to. thanks for including my link too !

Rei said...

Thanks for organising this event and appreciate your effort. It's not easy to make a selection. By being shortlisted, I feel embarassed by my rather plain submission. :p

JK said...

These are great bentos and they all look very "professional". It'll be difficult to select "the one" but I know you can. I'm glad I participated although I'm not that good. It's the fun element in it that drives me to participate.

I'm going to visit their blogs later to get more bento ideas. You are right, we get to know more friends through this. Thank you.

Well, I'm the one who don't update my blog regularly. Can't spend too much time in front of the computer. So, I do not have many readers but I'm fine with it. I just do not want to make blogging an obligation or rather a stress. It should be fun like the competition.

Unknown said...

wow.. the bentos are all so lovely. i am glad i am not in your shoes, having to pick out 1 to win the price as they are all winners in my amature eyes. I am going to have a great time checking out all their blogs as each of them have their own unique characteristic...thank you for organizing this Bento Pet... I love it :).. hugs!

Bento Pet said...

3lilangels: My kids and I particularly loved your entry. It was a 'practical' meal and very prettily put together.

Together, we Oooohhhh....ddd and Ahhhh....dddd over the visual of the bento.

If I had left the winner selection to #3, she'd have chosen yours! She demanded to know why she wasn't involved in the selection process! *struggle, struggle and shrugs*

Bento Pet said...

allthingspurple: My two elder girls liked the simplicity of the two bentos.

Both, later said that it was something they liked visually and the Champagne grapes were a treat!

Of course they also liked the bento boxes and baran dividers.

You deserve being shortlisted!

Bento Pet said...

rei: I'm amazed that you imagine your entries to be "plain".

I particularly loved all your entries and it was difficult to choose from them.

I had to go through them and imagine the taste and flavor of each part of the rice and side dishes before I decided on the shortlisted one.

Each one looked so delicious! #2 loved the fact that you had Natto in your Bento!

Bento Pet said...

jo-n: I'm glad that most of the finalists are active bento bloggers and thus can inspire and support us bento packers in our daily quest.

I'm glad to have met you on cyber space because your comments make a difference to this blog. It helps keep the inspiration going! Thank you!!

Bento Pet said...

yozo: hugs to you too!! Thank you for the great support.

I read your blog on the musicals that you post on. My #2 is a firm supporter of the arts too. Soon Yoon used to duet with her vocal teacher! He's got an awesome voice.

Anonymous said...

Wow - all these Bentos are so great! I can't believe I made the short list - thanks so much :) I can't wait to check out all the blogs! How will I ever choose one to vote for?! :)

Thanks again for doing the competition - I really enjoyed entering it and appreciate the encouragement to keep doing it :)

Bento Pet said...

kashmirkat: Congratulations and thank you for participating! Am I glad the winner selection is not going to be my decision! Everyone of the Bento looks so good!

das said...

Fourteen shortlisted Bentos (in alphabetical order) from more than sixty multiple submissions worldwide for the Bento Pet’s Bento competition!! It’s been really exciting to daily open my mail box to see new submissions. Needless to say, all the Bentos were “delicious”! The result of this competition is really not the qualifying factor of whether your Bento is good enough or better than the other.

Link Building

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